Date of Award

8-20-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Linda C Degutis

Abstract

Compared with the population at-large, the Emergency Department (ED) population sees a high percentage of people with alcohol use and abuse problems. Therefore, the ED is well suited for the implementation of alcohol screening and interventions. It is important to be able to identify at risk drinkers who come to the ED for treatment for injury or other medical problems so that interventions may occur. Project ED Health conducted intensive interviews with harmful and hazardous drinkers presenting to the ED for treatment of injury or medical problem. The data was entered into a database and analyzed to find differences between injured and non-injured at risk drinkers. We found that 2/3 of at risk drinkers presented without injury. Compared to participants without injuries, injured individuals were significantly younger and more likely to be male. Injured and non-injured individuals had similar drinking patterns and health behaviors. Individuals at risk for alcohol-associated problems are similar in terms of drinking patterns and consequences and health status. Any screening tactic that is less than comprehensive, (i.e. that targets only injured individuals), will miss a significant number of at risk drinkers.

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